Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hearty Mushroom Barley Soup

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  It's rainy and windy outside; the leaves are falling and I've decided to take the chill off by making a pot of soup.  My mother taught me this trick by making pots of her vegetable soup, bean soup, or maybe a chicken noodle when the weather turned and it worked every time.

My choice for this chilly Fall evening is a Mushroom Barley Soup.  Mushrooms are a good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, cobalamins) and ascorbic acid.  In case you're interested, China is the world's largest edible mushroom producer and consumer of this fascinating fungus.  Along with the barley, which is also a good source of dietary fiber, you have a satisfying, healthy soup to ward off flu bugs and as my Irish father would say, "warm the cockles of your heart."

Making soup is one of those things that the whole family can get involved with and it's an inexpensive way to provide a hearty, healthy meal.  I'd love to hear about a favorite soup you make; a family recipe or twist on old standard.  Cold nights = Bowl of Soup!

Hearty Mushroom Barley Soup

1/4 cup  (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 lb. while button mushrooms, cleaned and cut into 1/2"-1" pieces
1/2 lb Crimini mushrooms (or your favorite) cleaned and cut into 1/2"-1" pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 stalks of celery, chopped into small pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup Pearl Barley, rinsed
2 T all-purpose flour
8 cups Vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 T fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill

In a large Dutch oven or sauce pan, melt butter.  Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute for 5-7 minutes.  Add all the mushrooms and barley and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and the vegetables start to brown.  About 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine.  Gradually add the broth and bring the soup to a boil, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat and cover the sauce pan.  Simmer until the barley is tender, about 40 minutes.  Before serving, add the parsley and the dill and stir.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.  I combined this soup with a "melt-in-your-mouth Parkerhouse roll and a salad.  The soup warmed me up and even with the rain falling and the wind howling, I closed my eyes and was in my mother's kitchen again--Enjoy!


  1. Susan, that looks yummy and would be a very hearty dinner. It's raining here today and a pot of soup on the stove sounds like a great idea.
    One of my favorites to make is a Tortellini Vegetable soup. I'd have to dig up the exact recipe, but I remember that it has mushrooms, carrots, stewed tomatoes, onion and garlic, cheese tortellini, and lots of fresh spinach. It's actually a microwave recipe, and I start it out that way, then I transfer it into a pot on the stove and let it simmer.

  2. Tortellini Vegetable sounds wonderful--also very hearty and healthy. Soup is definitely a comfort food, rain, snow, sleet, or just a chill in the air. xoxo

  3. Looks great! I am always looking for soup recipes to add to my collection!

  4. what a beautiful recipe, warm soup certainly takes the chill out of these cold days as well as bringing us comfort to our spirits xoxo

  5. Soup is one of the best thing about living up here in the rainy states. I love barley soups and I'm adding this to our recipe box. Jacques Pepin has a really great barley stew in one of his books (but meat's a big part of it, sorry Sue. He's French and stuff, it can't be helped). This weather means it's also time to get started collecting leafy spinach for Italian wedding soup days and kale for Portuguese white bean soup.

  6. Hey Kare~I did a Bean & Kale soup in an earlier post that was Kelly's favorite. In fact, I was just in Kentucky and Matt asked me to make it for he and Ari.

    Send me you email and address, I have something to send you. Love you, xoxo

  7. is the one I check all the time. I'm at 1930 Taylor St, Eugene, OR 97405. It's only 6 am and already I want soup again.

  8. I should definitely come up with a morning soup for all my soup myself!